News on how animated cartoons are becoming theme park rides and 3DO's Portal Runner Announcement.
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Sunday - February 18, 2001
- Animated Cartoons Becoming Theme Park Rides
- Disney's Recess Opens Strong
- 3DO Announces Portal Runner for Playstation 2


Animated Cartoons Becoming Theme Park Rides
The world's first junior inverted coaster, an exotic river adventure and a place to meet and greet everyone's favorite blue puppy, are the main attractions in an imaginative new themed area opening this spring at Paramount's Kings Island theme and water park near Cincinnati.

Late last week , Paramount's Kings Island officials announced the details of a variety of new rides and attractions that immerse guests in the imaginative world of beloved Nickelodeon properties including the Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys and Blue's Clues.

"Working with Nickelodeon, we've taken some of the most wildly popular animated adventures and brought them to life in a variety of one-of-a-kind attractions," said Tim V. Fisher, the park's executive vice president and general manager. "Kids, and parents too, can now be a part of the action that they were previously only able to enjoy on a television or movie screen."

Based on the Rugrats episode, Runaway Reptar, the world's first inverted junior coaster takes riders on a high-flying adventure in ski-lift style seats that are suspended below the coaster track. The giant green dinosaur personality known as Reptar, looms 32 feet above the ground and beckons riders to climb aboard the green and yellow scream machine, with cars that feature his buggy dinosaur eyes. With their legs dangling below them, riders are whisked up, up and away to a height of more than 50 feet. Soaring over treetops like birds...swooping side to side...then hurtling into a scream-evoking nosedive...it's non stop Rugrats-style action as riders race around the track and attempt to steer clear of the larger-than-life Reptar. Rugrats Runaway Reptar continues Paramount's Kings Island's long standing tradition of introducing innovative, record-breaking roller coasters at the park.

The park will also introduce a new, splash-filled water adventure based on The Wild Thornberrys. The Nickelodeon show follows the adventures of 12-year-old Eliza Thornberry, a courageous girl with a big secret -- she can talk with animals. Kids riding the new Wild Thornberrys River Adventure are in for an amazing journey. Seated in dugouts, brave explorers cast off for an excursion through the wilderness. Floating through the forest, adventurers encounter a dark cave filled with mysterious explosives, a wacky homemade coconut irrigation system and a creepy snake bridge. The adventure continues as they navigate their way over a thrilling 40-foot waterfall and meet the explorer extrordinare herself, Eliza Thornberry who is perched high on top of a water spraying elephant.

Rugrats Runaway Reptar, The Wild Thornberrys River Adventure and the Nickelodeon character meet-and-greet facility are new attractions inside the new Nickelodeon Central area at Paramount's Kings Island. The new area encompasses and expands the section of the park dedicated to the world of Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon Central opens this spring.

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Disney's Recess Opens Strong
Disney's Recess opened strong on Friday, bringing in $4.5 million, which is double what The Emperor's New Groove brought in on its opening Friday. The surprise strong opening could end up fetching the G-rated animated film a hefty $15 million - $18 million in its opening weekend.

Based on the TV series, Disney's animated Recess: School's Out has students trying to save summer vacation as the former principal hatches a scheme to make school go year round.

Disney's Recess: School's Out was originally slated to be released during the heavy summer 2000 time period. Disney's decision to postpone it several months appears to have paid off.

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Portal Runner for Playstation 23DO Announces Portal Runner for Playstation 2
The 3DO Company has announced the planned release of the Portal Runner game for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system this spring. Portal Runner features the sassy and smart heroine Vikki G. Taking full advantage of the PlayStation 2 technology, an all-new game engine was built to create spectacular worlds and depict stunningly realistic characters. Portal Runner is also scheduled to be released on the Game Boy Color videogame system.

In the Portal Runner game, players are taken through an engaging story line that will keep them glued to their seats. The story begins with Brigitte Bleu about to unleash her diabolical scheme to trap Vikki and sink her claws into Sarge. This plot launches Vikki on a fantastic journey through a variety of exciting new toy worlds. She will eventually encounter a new friend and ally, Leo the Lion, who stays by her side to fight off the evil forces of these new worlds. The cooperative relationship that forms between the two characters will add a new level of excitement and close combat gameplay. Players will enjoy the option of controlling Leo or working with him as a team when playing Vikki. With advanced Artificial Intelligence, Leo will also be able to protect Vikki in combat and challenge gamers to restrain his savage instincts.

The Portal Runner game will feature a surrealistic look with exotic visuals; gamers will be truly immersed in the astonishing graphics. Giving great depth and variety to Portal Runner is the addictive bow and arrow gameplay. The realistic and spectacular precision technique of the bow and arrow will help Vikki vanquish foes and remove obstacles in her travels. To add more excitement, Portal Runner offers a huge variety of environments including Our World, Prehistoric World, Medieval World and Space World, all highly detailed and deeply interactive. Amid this blend of classic shooting and platform action, players can experiment with different gameplay approaches to keep things interesting.

"Portal Runner is an innovative title that incorporates many unique attributes that have not been previously implemented by other games," said Trip Hawkins, chairman and CEO of The 3DO Company. "We are definitely taking full advantage of the PS2 technology in order to create a seamless adventure. Players will be drawn into game environments unlike anything they have experienced before in a console title."

Portal Runner's levels are dynamic in a traditional style that everyone can appreciate. Fun and simple platform puzzles will be implemented to provide a new degree of challenge as gamers explore environments and line up their target shots. The missions in Portal Runner will each have their own style, unique challenges and surprises such as hidden platforms that take players to new secret levels. Players can also enjoy two player target-shooting games, each with their own adjustable game parameters. With four modes of gameplay and 19 different levels, Portal Runner will definitely keep the action fresh and electrifying!

An aggressive marketing and public relations campaign will back the launch of this blockbuster title. Vikki G. and Leo will be featured on the April 2001 cover of GamePro Magazine, the leading console gaming publication in the U.S., and has already appeared on several other gaming publication covers. A special Portal Runner comic book will be inserted in the May issue of GamePro, and distributed to their entire 500,000+ readers.

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